My wife discovered a story about a teacher who changed her/his work culture with a simple plan that anyone can implement at their organization. Her/his work environment went from back stabbing haters to appreciative givers in a few short months.
A teacher (still no one knows her/his name) didn’t like how teachers and administration treated each other. Staff gatherings were filled with fighting, politics and fear. No one seemed to even tolerate each other. This one person decided to take problems into his/her own hands.
S/he created an Appreciation Program
- S/he would leave a note for a co-worker and tell them how much s/he enjoyed working with them.
- S/he left candy bars with a note.
- Little stuffed bears with a note.
The most important part was the note. Each note described, in detail, what s/he liked about the person.
No one could figure out who the person was because s/he threw everyone off the trail by also giving her/his-self a present too. Everyone received presents and the mystery continued. As people were trying to figure out who the generous person was, the culture began to shift. People started treating each other better. Other teachers and administrative staff began to copy this teacher. They left little gifts and notes for each other. They wanted to repay the kindness.
This person never came out and took credit because it would have wrecked everything s/he accomplished. S/he let everyone believe that it might be one of their friends. It could have been anyone and the mystery added to the love that built friendships at the school.
You Can Too
If your work environment is dreary and needs a shock of love to get it happy again then try this for yourself. Just start giving small little gifts, under $2 and a little note. Just sit back and watch what happens.
Would you ever try something like this at your company? Would your co-workers beam with happiness? Would you just have to confess if it was you who made everyone so happy?
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Image courtesy of Knitty Cent